Unlocking the Physician’s Contracts Code: Why You Need a Review
If you’re a doctor, you’ll likely encounter job contracts at some point in your career, whether you’re just starting out, in the middle of interviews, or well into your profession. These contracts can be packed with complicated legal terms and conditions, so it’s important to understand them before signing. Let’s explore why it’s crucial for doctors at different career stages to have a legal expert review their physician’s employment contracts.
Understanding the Doctor’s Job Contract
A doctor’s job contract is an agreement between a physician and the hospital or medical practice where they’ll work. It spells out the details of your job, including what you’ll do, where you’ll work, and how much you’ll be paid. It also covers things like your work hours, on-call duties, and the benefits you’ll receive. Additionally, it clarifies whether you’ll be an employee or an independent contractor, which affects how you’ll be paid.
Are Contracts Necessary for All Doctors?
Not all doctors need to sign contracts, but the way doctors work is changing. More doctors are becoming employees of hospitals or practices. This means that contracts are becoming more common for doctors.
The Importance of Contract Review
Getting a healthcare legal expert to review your physician’s job contract is crucial to protect your interests. These contracts are legally binding documents, and they can be challenging to understand. Here are some good reasons to have a lawyer look at your contract:
- Ensuring Fair Pay: A lawyer will check your base salary, bonuses, and other incentives to make sure you’re getting a fair deal. They can also help you negotiate for better terms.
- Understanding Contract Terms: Legal experts go through complex clauses, like non-compete agreements and termination terms, to make sure they’re fair and legal.
- Helping with Negotiations: A lawyer can give you advice and strategies for negotiating better terms and might even negotiate on your behalf.
When to Get a Contract Review
It’s a good idea to have your contract reviewed in various situations, such as when you’re starting a new job, renewing your contract, changing your pay or benefits, renegotiating, moving from one job to another, transitioning to a partnership, starting a new business, or ending your employment contract. Waiting until after you’ve signed leaves you with fewer options for changes and could put your career at risk.
What Your Contract Should Cover
Physician contracts can be long and complex, so it’s important to pay attention to different sections during the review. Some critical aspects include:
- Pay and Benefits: Your contract should specify your salary, bonuses, and all the benefits you’ll get, like insurance, time off, and professional expenses. Any promises made during your interviews should be in the contract.
- Ownership and Partnerships: If you’re thinking of becoming an owner or partner in the future, make sure the contract discusses this or asks if there are additional documents detailing the process.
- Your Duties: The contract should describe your specific responsibilities, work conditions, and how many patients you’ll see.
- Restrictions: Look closely at non-compete and non-solicitation clauses to understand the limits and what they mean.
- Dates and Termination: Your contract should have clear start and end dates, so you know when it’s time to renew or negotiate. It should also spell out when and why you can be terminated.
- Insurance: Your contract should say what insurance you have to carry, whether your employer provides it, or if you need to get it yourself.
Negotiating Your Contract
While employers often have standard terms, you can often negotiate for better conditions. We here at Dike Law Group can help you figure out where you can negotiate, like your salary, bonuses, or how you can end the contract. Having a lawyer involved early can help with negotiations. Remember that your employer doesn’t have to agree to your requests, but it’s worth asking for better terms. The worst thing they can say is no.